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In the Arena

News/Business. (2011)

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Us 20, Washington 13, Obama 8, Neutrogena 5, Rupert Murdoch 4, United States 4, Cialis 3, Murdoch 3, Andy Colson 3, Bum 3, Ben Wedeman 3, America 3, China 3, London 3, Robert Reich 3, Hawaii 3, Geico 2, Gadhafi 2, Cnn 2, Britain 2,
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  CNN    In the Arena    News/Business.  (2011)  

    July 13, 2011
    8:00 - 9:00pm EDT  

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remember, this is your money and a squabble in washington but your money and the country's credit rating. good evening. welcome to the program. i'm tom foreman. tonight, the scandal in london and squarmed around one of the most powerful men in the world has come to american shores. in the last four hours, four senators have called for investigations into the vast media empire of rupert murdoch. the last media baron, perhaps the most powerful in the united states in terms of power and money and influence. how deep does that run? take a look. the television empire, fox with its news programming is part of his world. 20th century fox was huge, hit films. in publishing, "new york post," "wall street journal," what he has in print, along with harpercollins publishers limited, books like sarah
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palins, all part of the empire of rupert murdoch. we will dig much deeper into the rupert scandal and one of the senators calling for an investigation. first, one of the other stories we're following tonight. the other barack obama. a new book reveals astonishing information about the father of the president. it opens a new window into the heart and mind of his son, and -- who is thaddeus? a conservative who plays an electric guitar, quotes l.e.d. zeppelin on the house floor and running for president in a crowded field. can he rock out? then, think the debt ceiling debate is a joke, so does paul. >> you're speaking like a conspiracy theorist. >> it's not conspiracy, reality today. >> with both sides talking at each other, maybe it takes a
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comedie comediene -- come median to get serious. we start with breaking news, showdown or meltdown, we're not sure, at the white house in the middle of those talks. president obama walk out of the debt talks with house republicans saying he has reached his limit. it happened not long ago. cnn's chief white house correspondent joins me now from washington for the latest on the thoughts on tonight's meeting. jessica yellin, tell us what's going on there. >> reporter: that's at least how republicans are accounting today for these debt talks, certainly a political tit for tat going on in these tense negotiations. after today's meetings, both sides came out telling very different stories. what we do know is according to republicans, president obama in the meeting ended it abruptly after lecturing them and then walking out. democratic officials, i'm told by democratic officials a very different story, president obama got frustrated when republicans
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changed their position in these negotiations. at the very end of the meeting after hearing the republicans now endorsing a short term deal, the very kind of deal president obama has said he will not accept c the kind of deal he said he would veto, he gave a speech. democratic officials say he told the group that this is this kind of political posturing that americans have a great distaste for, the kind of thing they always expect from washington, where politicians take political positions and cater to their bases rather than take hard stands on tough issues. that is when the meeting broke up. no matter which side of the story you believe, tom, the one truth we know is that it is certainly the most tension we've heard come from any of these meetings to date. the bottom line is republicans are now agreeing openly, house republicans, at least, that they do like this idea of a short term debt extension, which requires multiple votes between now and next year's election, which makes it quite a political
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issue and changes the entire dynamic of these negotiations and, tom, i'll tell you, the president again today repeated he would veto any kind of short term deal, which means if that's what house republicans are pushing for, there is no deal. >> jessica, what about this explosive moment. does this seem to be true where the president in particular confronted republican eric cantor? >> reporter: what i'm told about that moment, a bit of rorschach test, everybody sees it in a different light, this is where the president said to the group, everybody is -- this confirms the worst suspicion everyone has of washington. that the president was frustrated, eric cantor had now endorsed the short term deal idea and was frustrated he had changed off of his prior position where he wanted to go for a real deficit reduction and you know the words of democratic officials into this short term idea. tom, i should point out that, you know, some republicans would argue at this late stage, that's all some people think can get
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done. so there's different ways to look at it. if i can dial out for a minute and give you a big picture perspective, despite this tit for tat and all this political spinning going on, there is still a meeting scheduled at the white house tomorrow, as far as we san antonknow, all sides are planning to come here and they will be discussing detailed spending cuts and for the first time, this discussion of tax changes. will there be revenue on the table, a major controversial issue. despite all this, there could still be potential progress towards one of these deals tomorrow. we'll see. >> you answered my last question. we'll check back with you later on. they might want to start with decaf tomorrow. >> let's go to our top story now. this is an important thing for all of us to be aware of. this in-depth look at the rupert murdoch scandal as it begins to reverberate in america. we thought it might and indeed it has.
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murdoch withdrew his bid for bskyb amid the most disturbing allegations that emerged. according to a british paper, journalists from the news of the world approached a new york private investigator to buy phone records of victims from the 9/11 attacks, families of the victims are outraged by these allegations and four senators have now requested a justice department investigation of murdoch's company. i spoke with one of them. senator frank lautenberg, moments ago. senator lautenberg, thanks for joining me here. let me start with the most important question in all this. do you have reason to believe some sort of criminal activity has taken place in this country connected to rupert murdoch's enterprises? >> the one thing i know, not that i just believe, that is an american corporation cannot use bribery.
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it's a felony. it's against the law and should not be used. >> at this point, you're not talking about these things happening in this country that you know of, although you're curious about that, you're focusing on what's happening over there and the possible repercussions here. what are the possible repercussions. let's say we did find out this? what could happen? >> they could be fined. there could be severe punishment if the corporation has directed people to violate the law. it also, since we've heard that hacking has been taking place and directed at families who suffered as a result of 9/11, loss of a loved one or injury to a loved one. we want to make sure that this practice doesn't escape. we don't know that absolutely,
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that it has taken place, but it is alleged or suggested that it's taken place. we don't want to permit that. >> you and the other folks who have -- in elected office called for investigation into this right now are all democrats. fox news is widely seen as being very pro republican. you know full well many people are going to say, this is just politics, you guys are going after them because they're a republican vehicle and they're in trouble right now. >> i think it's fair to say that i view it as a responsibility to investigate. it has nothing to do with politics, i'll tell you that. they have no right to break the law if they're an american corporation. it wouldn't matter if they were selling tires or selling news or what have you. those are the rules, those are the laws and we have to obey them.
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>> one thing i have to ask you about in all of this, one of the issues over in britain was that the politicians were very much involved in this, in that they were afraid of making the media very angry. do you fear any of that here? the simple truth you talk about politicians criticizing the media, you're criticizing people who buy ink by the barrel. >> i'm accustomed to being in this boxing ring here. i served three years in the army. i'm not afraid of repercussions. i know that i'm on the right side of the question. it's going to be asked. i don't think about repercussions. if i think i'm on the right track, that's where i'm going to stay. >> how soon do you want this to move and how soon do you expect it to move, if at all, in this investigation? >> asap. it has to be done in an orderly
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fashion. i would urge hayes from the justice department because this now lingers over us in a very unpleasant unfair way. >> senator lautenberg, thanks for joining us tonight. >> glad to be here, thanks. >> this, as you can tell is getting ugly here, getting uglier over there. prime minister david cameron was grilled in parliament why he hired a former murdoch editor, a man now under arrest in this hacking scandal despite warnings not to. watch this amazing bit of political theater. >> he just doesn't get it! he just doesn't get it. i say this to the prime minister. he was warned by the deputy prime minister about hiring andy colson. he was warned by lord ashdown
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about hiring andy colson. he has now admitted in the house of commons today that this is chief of staff was given complete evidence, which contradicted andy colson's previous accounts. the prime minister must now publish the fullest account of all the information provided and what he did and why those warnings went unheeded. >> the decision to employ a tabloid editor meant there were a number of people who said this was not a good idea, particularly when that tabloid editor had been at the "news of the world" when bad things happened. what i did was accept assurances given made to a select committee of the police and law. if i was lied to, that would be a matter of deep regret. i can't be clear about that. we must make sure we ajudge
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people innocent until proven guilty. >> can the prime minister assure that all activity will be investigated now and this will include the criminal conspiracy between the highest levels in that last government with parts of the murdoch empire including bribing a bank account of lord ashcroft to undermine him and his positions as laid out in dirty politics, dirty times? >> in public life we all are subject to huge amounts of extra scrutiny. that's fair. it's not fair when laws are broken. we've all suffered from this and the fact is we've all been too silent about it. that is part of the problem. your bins are gone through by some media organization but you hold back from dealing with it because you want good relations with the media. we need honesty on this issue on a cross party basis to take on this problem. >> you can see what an earthquake this is causing in their government. that phrase, dirty politics,
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dirty times. unbelievable. let's consider what this means about the all too cozy relationship between the british government and british press. oliver campbell was the former press secretary for tony blair. i spoke with him today from london. >> thanks for joining us. ire contention is this too cozy relationship between the media and government has been around quite some time and a lot of people knew about it? >> yes. it's not in dispute at all. you go back to margaret thatcher's time as prime minister. i think i'm right in recording she gave five knighthoods to editors who supported her. when we came into office in 1997, that was something we put a stop to by saying no serving entity should get an honor from the queen. what i said in a piece i wrote in the "financial times" the other day, i think there were points we compromised principles we should have adopted to press
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regulation in this country has been a complete joke against the continuing support we were getting from many sections of the media. i wish that we had done more. >> how do you hit the proper balance here, you're talking about press regulation, you know over here in america, people immediately perk up when they hear that because they say we don't like the media much but we've never liked restrictions on the press. how do you do that? >> i accept that and i instinctively despite the criminality and venamilty and amorality we have seen in recent days, i instinctively am still a believer in self-regulation. however, i'm not sure the generation running the media in britain at the moment can be trusted with it. it's not just about media international exposed for total rottenness, one of the most powerful groups is the mail group. i think they're just as bad and in some ways even worse although let me say the criminality
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element has not been, as it were, proven. i do think the riots since the '80s, the british press drinking in the last chance saloon. they've been drinking in there heavily ever since. i do hope parliament, once this inquiry is under way and once parliament debates any proposals that come from it, i hope we do start from the standpoint of thinking self-regulation is prefable. i think the public are beginning to wonder whether the people who run our newspapers are capable of self-regulation. the other thing to point out here, we have the broadcast media regulated here. i think most of the broadcast media think the system just about works. >> one of your real concerns here is the way it's working now. i think this is going to resonate with a lot of people here, is such that the media makes it almost impossible for the government to govern because they're so worried about public opinion and then that becomes a
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convenient excuse for government not doing difficult things because after all we'll get crucified in the media. i reached a point. i worked from 1994 to 2003 and went back for the 2000 election and 2010 election as well. i reached a point. this is myself now, kind of the end of the last millennium really, it didn't really matter what they said about you, what you got to do in government is actually try to do the right thing, make the big long term strategic decisions and try to see them through. those politicians around the world who try to manage their policy making to suit what they think is going to be a media reaction, i think is a complete waste of time. i think what this has done, i hope, is liberated the political class from feeling they have to worry too much about what the media say about them. they should worry about the decisions they take, strategic course they set and they should try to see it through.
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>> when you look back on the events of that time, do you think you should have been louder and more forceful in saying, this is a poisonous dangerous relationship for the governance of this country? >> well, i probably should. you have to remember, i was -- i was a spokesman. i wasn't an elected politician who went out there and made big speeches and so forth. it's really interesting to watch the british press at the moment. the line they're running on us at the moment, you were so close to murdoch, the line they're running at the time we showed the media complete contempt. they want to have it any way that suits the prevailing mood at the moment. i can remember used to have discussions with president clinton and his team and also with george bush and his team what i think elected politicians around the world now see is a real problem of a many conation of a driving culture of negativity, which is most dominant, i think, in our newspapers and if you like, the frenzy driven reality of news
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reporting 24-7 on a proliferation of channels and online revolution and so forth is making it more difficult to govern. i think the media has to accept some responsibility, not just for getting viewers, not just for selling papers but for the role it plays within that. i hope we can have a sensible debate about that where the politicians have said they have to change their ways but the journalists accept they have to change, too. >> thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. this may all sound like something that's happening over there. you can bet your house we're getting more of it coming here to debate we will stay with on this show. coming up, washington as we said at the top is playing hot potato with the debt ceiling. you've got it, no, you've got it, back and forth they go. robert reich sice says enough a. we'll see how he might pull it off.
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tonight's tension at the white house with republicans and the president apparently storming away from the bargaining table comes as there is new pressure on both sides to reach a new deal. the credit agency, moody, says it's thinking of down grading
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the u.s. credit rating, meaning a possibility even if congress raises the debt ceiling, they may not do it in time. joining me to talk about it labor secretary under former president clinton, robert reich. why does it matter to the government if the credit record is downgraded and why does it matter to me? >> it matters to everybody else for a simple reason, if the credit rating of the united states is downgraded, that means all the borrowing the united states needs to do and wants to do in the future is going to cost more. everybody who lends money to the government is going to demand higher interest rates. those higher interest rates with make the budget deficit even worse. the down grading is very very serious. a potential down grading is very serious. what this amounts to, i'm going beyond my seven seconds, i want to put the politics into this, what this amounts to is essentially more political pressure on democrats and republicans to come up with a deal. >> you've actually opened the door to the next question here.
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when you look at what's going on right now, you've written a column that has suggested is one of the problems is politically everyone wants to move this down the road and not deal with it because they have painted themselves into corners they can't get out of but practically, we shouldn't let that happen. explain that. >> it's a giant game of chicken. obviously, republicans are saying if you do not go along with our plan, and we refuse to raise taxes on the wealthy, we are going to vote against raising the debt limit. democrats are saying you have to raise taxes, particularly on the wealthy, with regard to the budget agreement or there's no deal at all. both sides in washington right now are at complete loggerheads. in washington, it's a very strange place. i've worked there for many years, i can tell you, it's its own planet. in washington, if you have that kind of situation, the only way out that provides kind of
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face-saving device for both sides is something like mitch mcconnell suggested yesterday, give an opportunity for the republicans to vote against raising the debt ceiling but allow the president to do it nonetheless and put all the onus on the president and all the responsibility on the president and essentially, make the election about that decision. >> i find it really surprising you talk about the mcconnell solution as being something that actually might be taken up because it was so roundly beaten up in washington immediately as a ridiculous plan that can't possibly work. but you think it may actually be the only avenue left, something like that? >> something like that is the only avenue. i think it was roundly criticized particularly by republicans who have tea party constituents, heavily tea party influence because they wanted to show they didn't want to compromise at all and would not compromise. but you see the mcconnell solution or compromise itself
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gives everybody in the republican party and opportunity to vote squarely against raising the debt ceiling. that's the bottom line, what they want. they don't want to go into an election having voted to raise the debt ceiling. at the same time, the debt ceiling has to be raised. the moody's decision today reflecting a possible down grading of the united states treasury bills, would be a disaster, and pressure is building. financial pressure from wall street, from big business, from basically the sources of campaign money for the republican party. that's the issue. >> do you think that anybody comes out a winner in this whole thing. it feels like somebody is triangulating a weird political advantage in next year's race. i'm not sure either side can bet on this playing for them. >> no, i don't think anybody comes out a winner. i think the american public is disgusted with all this political maneuvering, want the
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debt ceiling raised to the extent most people are looking at the debt ceiling at all and want the budget dealt with. most people in the united states are not paying attention to any of this, paying attention to jobs and wages, worried about personal finances. they want the president and congress to come up with some sort of plan to create more jobs in the united states. >> i want to ask you about that. we are running a little bit short on time. you had a pretty sharp response to the president's response to the latest jobs report. require right. this is the issue for americans, i want to be secure in my job and my home and some sense i can grow and the sense the white house at some point seems to be shrugging and saying, it's tough, we don't know what to do. >> i think it's dangerous. we're more than a year away from the next election. when we get into the gravitational pull of the 2012 election, it will be very soon we get into that gravitational pull, the president has to have a jobs plan. he has to say to the public, even if i can't get this through
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the republican house, i am going to fight for it because i am fighting for jobs and wages. i know this is what you americans care most about. >> robert reich, always goods to have you with us to talk about things. we look forward to your insights. up next, dramatic footage out of libya. you will want to see this. cnn's ben wedeman and his camera crew were caught in the crossfire today. it's really quite astounding and a reminder how our troubles and difficulties stretch all around the globe right now. stick with us. hey ! chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ? chocolate ! chocolate it is ! yeah, but i'm new, too. umm... he's new... er... than you. even kids know it's wrong to treat new friends better than old friends. at ally bank, we treat all our customers fairly, with no teaser rates and no minimum deposit to open. it's just the right thing to do. but not your wrinkles.
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the civil war in libya flared up with a dramatic five hour gun battle today near tripoli. for several harrowing minutes senior international correspondent, ben wedeman and his team were caught in the crossfire in this small town. it's the kind of danger journalists live through all the time to bring stories from the war zone. i want you to take a look at this extraordinary footage.
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>> our driver -- >> get in the car. >> you guys, wait! >> get in there. >> wait! >> wait! >> wait! . >> you in, mary? >> yeah, i'm in. >> okay. just calm down. [ bleep ] >> get down! >> we're leaving this area. there's gunfire all around us and we believe that gadhafi's
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forces are doing a roundabout movement, so we are rushing out of this area. >> you hear th you all right, g? >> everybody is fine. >> we're going as fast as we can. we can't tell who -- wait. okay. is the other car behind us? >> yes. >> that's a lot of gunfire. gadhafi's forces, apparently have entereded the town we were in the other day that the rebels took on the 6th of july and there's been talk they might be building up forces to make a counterattack. it looks like the counterattack has begun right now.
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we're driving fast. see the other one? >> they're still behind us! >> that was cnn's ben wedeman. the woman you heard yelling out there trapped outside the car for a moment, that was camera woman mary rogers, the one who brought you all those pictures. our whole team made it out safely but a stark stark reminder how troubled that part of the world remains even up until now. up next, a very different change of tune. a conservative who can whale on an electric guitar and may score points at the high school reunion but can it help this next man become your president? back in a moment.
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my next guest is running for president. come to think of it, who isn't? he's congressman thaddeus mccotter, a republican from michigan. he's a populist conservative and
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the thing he may be most known for is quoting led zeppelin lyrics on the floor of the house. it takes way too long to show it to you. what i will show in stead is this. ♪ that's him rocking out on the electric guitar at his own presidential campaign announcement earlier this month. i talked to him this evening. congressman, welcome. i like the guitar better than huckabee's base. >> i like to tease the governor he only plays four strings. >> exactly. how do you get a base player off the porch? pay him for the pizza. >> you know what you're hearing everywhere, you're too little known, too late into the game and you don't have nearly enough money to pull this off. what makes you think you can become president? >> it's the first social networking election to elect a president. we have seen people you haven't heard of getting traction
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through the social networking, through the 24 hours news cycle, through the fact their message resonated a period of time. >> why is your message going to resonate? >> i'm not presumptuous enough to say it will. if you get in the race and put it in front of people, you have the opportunity for them to consider and get behind and unite. if you don't, you won't get anywhere. >> what's the message you want to get out there. i'll agree, there's a lot of dissatisfaction. you can argue the reason president obama became president is there was an early leave of dissatisfaction of politics as usual. what will you bring to the table? >> we're going to bring to the table things people aren't talking about. we're hearing about limited government and not talking about restructuring government to match the challenges of our time. you're living on a communications revolution on a blackberry, you can purchased a service around the world and you have access to more information and input your decisions into
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the community than any other time in human history. what we seop sit our self-driven government earning society is remnants of the welfare state imploding around us, number one. number two, what you also have is failure of bailed out banks to be fixed. we have to restructure them to get credit down to help the 14 million unemployed get back to work, help the 30 million people that can't find better jobs be able to. these are the things we need to talk about. in foreign affairs we understand challenges in the middle east but no one is talking about the long time threat of our strategic rifle, communist china. >> you had no hesitation attacking other republican rivals many don't do. you heard about the obama romney economy and saying they're less rivals than running mates. that's not normal republican talk. >> it's talk and true. you look at the underlying premises mr. romney refuses to say he was mistaken on, wall street bailout too big to fail
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principle, o caromny care effectiveness reach and climate change, he still believes those were proper principles to implement decisions. this is very disconcerting to those who spent our time in the u.s. house against those. >> you make a point. you've been in the house some time now. >> i point out this is my ninth year. my neighbors are john dingle and john conyers, who have been in congress longer than i've been alive. great guys. >> fair enough. >> you know what the argument is against anybody who's been in washington five years, six years, nine years, if you were going to change things, what have you changed? >> i measure the legislative process not by putting your name on a bill and hoping it gets passed. my first time was in a gop on decline and not doing the reconstruction necessary let alone deal with communist china or bailed out banks and spent a lot of time trying to fight
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against things like the wall street bailout we thought were wrong, held a majority of republicans against it and unfortunately it still passed with a democratic congress and president. >> you voted for the auto bailout. >> it was not sin mouse, voted against existing loans to get to a points they could restructure. the wall street bailout when the t.a.r.p. money was spent, $700 billion parked that came out of mainstream's pocket and you go back to have it failed to go back to mainstream and have a factory base or don't. as a social construct to say to wall street bankers too big to fail and according to the "new york times" too big to jail as well. if you take that money from working people and say you're important enough to keep, you who are blue collar work in the factories, you aren't, you're not only gutting your manufacturing base at a time china is ready to pass us, you're also saying to them some citizens are more important than others and i fundamentally reject that. >> let's do real world play acting. you're the president right now,
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you're facing this holding on the debt ceiling right now, what would you do differently than this president or anybody else to solve this problem? >> first, the hypothetical doesn't work because i didn't go on a two year spending binge when i controlled everything. secondly i control cap and balance the republicans alternative to this and i add we have to have a balanced budget amendment submitted to the states. if you listen to the american public, they're very concerned about this and rightly so. they also never want to be in this position again, i would argue cut cap balance and long term have balanced budget amendment and puts the sovereign people in the room with the appropriators you know absent any other higher authority we keep spending money. >> your favorite players jimi hendrix? >> i said number one. >> amid clapton and stevie ray. >> he is in london and towns and clapton go in to watch him and said who is the new kid in town. they both watched him and went home and didn't play guitar for
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weeks. if i have to play, i'll play like townsend or keith richards. >> i tell you, you have to do a lot of that. it's hard to break out of this pack right now. the biggest criticism is you're kind of a quiet guy, thoughtful guy and you have to break out somehow. >> i've heard worse but i'll take that. >> all right. that mccotter, good luck with your run. if you win, come back and see us again. >> i will. >> excuse me while i run for president. up next, barack obama srenior, fascinating new book on the man who gave his son his name and complicated legacy that goes with it. to playing "angry bird" it lets you access business forms on the go, fire off e-mails with the qwerty keypad, and work securely around the world so you can get back to playing "angry birds." it's the android-powered phone that mixes business with pleasure. so let's get our work done, america, so we can all get back to playing "angry birds." the motorola expert from sprint. trouble hearing on the phone? visit sprintrelay.com.
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it looks like president obama has finally put the birther controversy to rest. even though his autobiography was called "dreams from my father," there has not been much about his african-american dad,
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obama senior, it portrays a man who spent time in hawaii and harvard, had many wives and drank a lot and died in obscurity in 1982. this is a fascinating look at a really unknown character. the author, sally jacobs joins me now. what fascinated you about this man? >> clearly, there was very little known about barack obama senior. as we headed towards the nomination, quite a bit was known about the would be president's mother. the father was quite unknown. in "dreams from my father" he writes a bit about him. >> in a nutshell what kind of man was he? >> he was bold and reckless, a very courageous person who spoke out against the administration at a time it was dangerous to do so and he was also extremely reckless. he was a have a drinker and had a loose relationship with the truth at times. >> this was a man born in poverty in kenya, in many ways an unlikely candidate to wind up over here in hawaii impressing people with his intellect being
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good at math, good at thought, all this, very unlikely character. >> certainly, his journey was extraordinary. he did grow up in a very poor situation at a time children had no shoes. if you had shoes, you certainly didn't wear them, saved them for special occasion. he wound up in his mid-20s at harvard university not just there but he succeeded there to some extent, passed all his exams and had only his dissertation left to write. he was very brilliant. >> he like his father before him had a streak of wildness and cruelty to him to a degree. >> he himself was cruel, you mean? >> less so than his father before him. there was still a sense of that. >> he was somewhat abusive. certainly one of his wives, some of his children experienced that. i think he had experienced that himself as a child. that was what he knew. >> this was not a man that barack obama, our president, knew really at all in his life? >> no, he did not. they lived together or were in the same city the first nine months of the president's life.
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he saw his father again for about a month in 1971, when obama senior came to honolulu to visit. it was not a terrific visit. by the end as the president writes himself, he was rather for his father to go. >> what was going on at that point? at 10 years old, we are so vulnerable and reliable to adults to have him come back in his life. his mother presented him as a positive figure and described him as a talented economist he was. when the real thing appears, obama junior was taken with him and watching him closely as he describes in his book. i think his father telling him what to do towards the end began to wear on him in the end, obama junior was raving to watch a favorite television program and his father said, no no no, you need to go do your homework and erupted into the adults arguing and obama junior admits he was ready for his father to leave and the last time he saw him. >> one of the things you explore
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briefly, the other side of the coin, his father could have stayed, he did not, there was some talk of putting up our president, when he was a boy, for adoption, a baby. >> yes. >> basically the mother and father saying we have to put him off somewhere else. now the father said that. the mother did not as far as we know. what i found was a document, a memo in his immigration file in which obama senior says to the foreign student advisor at the university of hawaii ann dunham is making arrangements with the salvation army to put the baby up for adoption. did they do that? we don't really know. obama senior could have made it up, made his portrait look better. up for visa renewal. it seems unlikely ann dunn could have done that kind of thing. he did say it so a reflection his father would have gone that far. >> how different things would have been. interesting book called "the other barack." thanks. we appreciate it. three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic."
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you look at all the things in the news in weeks like this, you have to ask yourself if the country has lost its mind. we're careening toward debt default, the only thing from washington is call for grown-ups and we decide to turn to someone who has real experience losing his mind. paul provenza, a comedian and actor. >> it's the greatest intro i've ever had.
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>> you're welcome. >> i appreciate that. >> i try to help when i can. i've always thought one of the things comedians can give us is a step backed look at our culture. >> well put. >> right now, what do you think, when you look at us right now? i have people i have known for years and years who are saying, i think we've lost our mind as a country. >> unbelievable. what's hard to separate is the actual issues and how they are conveyed to us and how we process them. it's become completely unrecognizable. >> you look at things like our judicial system, people very upset this week at the judicial system. do you think the problem is the judicial system or the way we report on and talk about the judicial system? >> both simultaneously and neither simultaneously. that's why it's crazy. it's like multiple universes simultaneously. when i look at what just happened with the casey anthony trial, i think to myself, i believe a person is innocent until they're proven guilty. i had no idea they could be
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innocent after they're proven guilty. it has to say something. the resonance with the o.j. trial, it has to say there is something definitely wrong -- >> you see that beyond the judicial system. see that in the political system. i know plenty of politicians who actually are very dedicated caring public servants who really want to do the right thing, somehow you put them all together in the capital in washington and it can't get done. ? we have one centralized government trying to come up with blanket laws and ways of living together for 300 million people over 3,000 miles in diameter. it's a crazy idea. i subscribe to the old adage he who governs closest governs best. you try to get 300 million people happy with the same decision, you will end up with 300 million people upset with the same decision. >> do you think that's one of the problems? i have wondered about the size. we're the third largest country
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in land mass like china and india. they're not a democracy like we are. do you think we've reached a tipping point it's not feasible to use the systems we have. >> i believe -- keep in mind i'm a comic. i don't know anything. >> so you're not to be trusted. >> it is my opinion but i do have that stepback you talked about. to me c this country was founded with states having real identities and real power of their own because this country really -- the people are different and especially since it's a nation of immigrants, the idea one central government can determine what's best for and policies that serve everybody in this country is a bad idea going in. you would never have any power structure starting out with that in mind. >> i've always said there's a gap between the real world and official world. the official world says all sorts of things. they say productivity is up and this is better. in the real world, people say
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i'm paying higher bills, more afraid for my job and it's not better. >> it's a power structure we never address so powerful and globally so, that's this corporate accuracy and everything else gets lost in the shuffle. experts devoted their lives to understanding it understand global finance and technology and media, how it's affecting us, none of us understand it to participate. >> you sound like a conspiracy theorist right now. >> no, no. >> i can't understand it therefore -- >> it's not a conspiracy. a culture what life is today. you cannot fix anything in your house anymore. >> that's true. >> we've gotten to the point really we hear people on tv all the time talking about their opinions, man on the street, what happened to casey anthony? nobody knows anything, we have no idea, the reality has gotten
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so complicated we can't actually participate in the process. >> we have a new presidential election coming up. do you see any hope we're moving toward any sort of conclusion, because frankly, we're all getting tired of the chaos. >> i'll tell you something, this is really interesting -- first, i think one of the big problems we have in this country is the two-party system. as far as i'm concerned that's only one party more than a to ta talltarian state. no margin of error. i don't believe man can change the system, too unwieldy? >> you don't think president obama can't change -- >> can't change the system. i believe he's sincere, generally progressive, cares and very intelligent. look what we're asking him to do, asking him to do all the things he promised and values he espouses in what is a turkish bizarre. >> democrats having spent time in washington don't really want anything to change anyway. >> thank you. >> that's the